Great Zimbabwe / Zimbabwe · 2017   iron age stone
 

 

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   Sly is a good guy. Sure, the car he’d rented out to those road-tripping Peace Corps volunteers that had adopted me was ill-equipped, caught on fire and had us stranded in the desert twice, but he also drove 3000 km to pick us up. That’s when I met him and that’s when he invited me to his wedding in Zim three months later and that’s when I offered to shoot it for free (with the reservation that I’d never shot a wedding). He lost two more cars that week – one to a cow and one to a nap on the wheel, sleepy from those thousands of miles – but he didn’t lose his friendly grin.

Three months later I was headed towards the wedding via Zambia, where Sly and his soon-to-be-wife Alyssa had put me up with a friend for two weeks. Our convoy set out for Chimanimani – a little, green destination that looked as melodic as it sounded – the day before the wedding to pick up supplies and a whole lot of relatives along the way, including some of Alyssa’s family and friends from the US. I remember that ATMs didn’t work in Zimbabwe at the time, an economic crisis in full swing.

They winged the wedding with a mix of rituals, handpicked across cultures, and it was beautiful because everybody there was beautiful and certainly the waterfall didn’t hurt. The next day, another waterfall. Then Great Zimbabwe, where a grand civilization had perished one and a half eons ago for us to admire it.

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a glimpse

 

glimpse: LONG STORY SHORT | It’s hard to tell where a non-fictional plot starts and ends, but I want to say that this one started with a perplexed elephant in Botswana, continued with a burning car in the Namib desert, and ended with a waterfall wedding in Zimbabwe, and everything that happened before and after was a different story.

It was a fine bridge, but it didn't have a name. Well, none that I knew of.
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Along the Road / Zimbabwe · 2017   wired sky

Bridge crossing river in Zimbabwe
Wall and rocks at Great Zimbabwe

One wall was Nature's and one was Man's.
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Great Zimbabwe / Zimbabwe · 2017   walls

 

 

 

 

 

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places / stories

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Chimanimani / Waterfall Wedding and the Concept of Marriage

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Chimanimani / Zimbabwe · 2017   love's dance





The concept of marriage, especially when wedded to a religious connotation, has not appealed to me since I’ve undone childhood’s simple notion knots. “Till life do us part,” is more realistic and reasonable. It’s life that gets in the way of most relationships, not death. Things change, people change, trajectories change. Even a perfect match here and now might not be that there and then. Why vow elsewise, hypocritically, as though we own the future? Why force what once was so naturally? Sure, fight for it, but stop before all your fighting is for fighting’s sake, before fighting for turns into fighting against. Let go of what does no longer want to be held. Let go of it before it is all gone. Love is a stronger bond than paper, and it hurts to tear it up. Anyway, I get it: gestures, taxes, visa – they all are valid reasons.



 

Four guys in front of a waterfall


Chimanimani / Zimbabwe · 2017   waterfall wedding rehearsal



 

Wedding in front of a waterfall


Chimanimani / Zimbabwe · 2017   waterfall wedding



 

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Chimanimani / Zimbabwe · 2017   love all over



 

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Chimanimani / Zimbabwe · 2017   dad & sons



 

Mountains in Zimbabwe


Chimanimani / Zimbabwe · 2017   right on track, right on time



 


Chimanimani / Zimbabwe · 2017   bridal entourage



 

Waterfall in Zimbabwe


Chimanimani / Zimbabwe · 2017   another waterfall, whatever



 

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Great Zimbabwe / Civilization Cycles

DSC_5763.jpg


Great Zimbabwe / Zimbabwe · 2017   pre-brick





Sometimes it’s an accident, abrupt, and sometimes a slow and long and painful disease, and sometimes the tide, swift, and sometimes the many many links of a chain reaction, but eventually, eventually every civilization fails and falls while another takes flight.



 

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Great Zimbabwe / Zimbabwe · 2017   brother...



 


Great Zimbabwe / Zimbabwe · 2017   ...sister



 

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Great Zimbabwe / Zimbabwe · 2017   landscape with a story



 


Great Zimbabwe / Zimbabwe · 2017   watching history



 

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Great Zimbabwe / Zimbabwe · 2017   building block rock



 

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Along the Road / My Soul Putting on Weight

Empty stores in Zimbabwe


Along the Road / Zimbabwe · 2017   business carcasses



 

With every roadside village I pass through, my soul puts on a pound or two. Every story I can imagine, one sweet gram, every life I can come up with another ounce.



 

roadside town in Zimbabwe


Along the Road / Zimbabwe · 2017   cow car



 

village in Zimbabwe


Along the Road / Zimbabwe · 2017   bottle store & butcher



 

Zimbabwean village and dirt road


Along the Road / Zimbabwe · 2017   pick up bus

 

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elsewhere

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in Africa